Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
Besides the traditions of my own faith, I give immense value to the religious traditions of Sikhism and Buddhism.
The one singular thing I value the most about the Sikh faith is the sheer simplicity of the faith itself. Followers are advised to lead simple uncomplicated lives beyond the clutches of religious fanaticism. The Wikipedia page onwrites a beautiful introduction about this, as under…
Sikh practices are simple, precise and practical guidelines laid out by the Gurus for the practice of the “Sikh way of life”. The Gurus emphasise that a Sikh should lead a disciplined life engaged in Naam Simran, meditation on God’s name, Kirat Karni, living an honest life of a house-holder, and Wand kay Shako, sharing what one has with the community. This translates into hard work, honest living, love of fellow humans and through them service of the God, the primal power. This way of life is said to have been stripped of complications, myths, jargon, rituals and exploitation of man by man in the name of religion. No benefits are gained by where and to which family the person is born to – All have to undertake the rigours of Simran (meditation) and Sewa (selfless service) to progress spiritually. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib asks the Sikh to “Practice truth, contentment and kindness; this is the most excellent way of life. One who is so blessed by the Formless Lord God renounces selfishness, and becomes the dust of all. (3) ( [SGGS] page 51 (1))
If this doesn’t mean simple living, I don’t know what does. As a Hindu, I have a lot of respect for the Sikh faith and its people.
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ !
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫਤਹਿ !! _()_
I respect Buddhism a lot because I feel that Lord Gautama Buddha truly did find the answer to the cause of all suffering. Desire. Once one learns to let go of one’s desires, then one is truly at peace. As long as we have some or the other desires burning within us, our minds will never be at peace.
And there’s the basic concept of ahimsa or non-violence. Being an extremely non-violent person myself, this strongly resonates with me and my persona. When people get angry at eat other and attack one another by word or deed, I am unable to find the need behind all that. Such acts deeply hurt me. Staunch followers of Buddhism make up for some of the most peaceful people on earth. I remember gazing at the serene faces of Buddhist monks for a long time when I visited one of the Buddhist monasteries in India. They seemed so much at peace with themselves. It felt like they were actually trying to emanate the peace from their own selves to the outside world, attempting to spread the feeling everywhere.
I also admire the way meditation is given so much importance in the faith. Buddhism has always advocated meditation and its benefits way before it became so popular the world over.
I am aware of fanatics in every faith, but a few rotten apples does not mean that the entire orchard is bad.